Neglection of Kampung Neighbourhoods in Urban Development of Jakarta

Kampung means village in local term that are in tenement conditions and is densely populated. Kampung residents are often categorised into low-income class and they live off unstable infrastructures that are usually man-made where certain areas lack basic amenities. There are many kampungs including Kamal Muara that are situated near the edge of Jakarta which makes them more vulnerable to natural disasters, hence leading to poor conditions of living. Consequently, with time and urban development, these settlements were driven outwards far from the city centre. They became increasingly less important to the eye of the government because urban development was focused around the wealthier class of Jakarta by building facilities such projects include the high-rise skyscraper Wisma 46 (office) built in 1996.

Since property boom between 1990-1996 was a key objective, this naturally deviated attention away from kampungs as these informal settlements did not fit in with their plan of establishing a modernised version of Jakarta. Thus, during the economic crisis, kampungs became an even lower priority especially because the more important property projects were abandoned due to unforeseen circumstances. Christopher Silver makes a point in the favour of the government where he questions “why reinvest there (Kamal Muara) for the existing residents if they were soon to be displaced?” (Silver, 2008) This suggests how the government does not feel the need to improve the conditions of these villages and even by doing so, this action will not benefit them in achieving their ideal image of Jakarta. This hints on how the government is fixated on achieving an ultimate goal rather than considering the entire city comprehensively.



  1. Silver, Christopher. Planning the Megacity: Jakarta in the Twentieth Century. Planning, History, and the Environment Series. London; New York: Routledge, 2008.
  2. Hellman, Thynell, Voorst, Hellman, Jörgen, Thynell, Marie, and Voorst, Roanne Van. Jakarta : Claiming Spaces and Rights in the City. Routledge Research on Urban Asia. 2018

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